Camera accessory one is the StickPic found at thestickpic.com for 11.99 plus shipping. It's a bright idea from a couple of guys out of California that uses your hiking or trekking pole as a third person to take portrait photos or videos. I took it in August to take pics of myself and of myself with Boomer in the shot.
|Camera, StickPic and trek pole tip|
It's very simple to use. I had only two issues with the StickPic. One, is that I couldn't screw the camera down fully to the StickPic and have the camera line up properly. See, the logo on the fat white plastic piece needs to face back up the trekking pole. I had to twist the black jam nut back clockwise which left a small gap between it and the white plastic piece. However, the camera did stay in the correct position on my trekking pole despite that gap.
Now you shouldn't leave the stickpic on the trekking pole tip. But the device sure holds well to the trekking pole tip without turning over the camera so it ends up hanging down. Still it's easy to pull off your trekking pole and slide it back on. I left the StickPic on my camera the whole trip and it didn't get in the way of handling the camera or storing in my hipbelt pocket.
|Black washer underneath jam nut|
Grading the StickPic
It will get an A+ if I can improve my angle with my trekking pole. I would like to be able to take self portrait shots that have a nice straight on angle that looks like a third person at the same level took the photo.
|Too much sky|
|Too much headroom|
|Better headroom, more direct angle|
|Angle too low|
|Not bad considering the position|
|A better photo if looking at camera|
|Off center but good angle|
|Not bad with hammock in the shot|
Now with the second camera accessory, I bought a Tamrac ZipShot Tripod from B & H Photo. Again I main got this for self portrait photos because I didn't like the mini tripod out there like the Gorillapod. I could never find a tree limb to get a good shot. And such tripods being so short, placing them on the ground to shoot a pic only got you an very upward angled shot.
I'm excited about taking the ZipShot on my next trip because it was reasonable light. I measured it 11.30oz; Tamrac claims 11oz even. Though the legs bow in a tad bit it held my camera solid enough. Though playing around with it at home, it's best if you set the camera in position and place it on a timer instead of keeping you hands on the camera during the shot. It's very easy to jerk the camera's position with you hands on it because the ball head does not locked down motionlessly tight. The camera tends to "settle" when you lock it down though the camera doesn't rock at all once you take your hands off it.
Further, I might look into trying to a bubble level that could serve also as a handle to the ball head of the tripod or the camera itself for moving shots and general leveling.